Friday, September 28, 2012

Take Back the Classrooms!

Amen Brian Lilley!

I am waging a bit of a battle of my own with the classroom educrats of the York Region Catholic School Board. Here is my story. I will post progress reports as they arise.

I sent an e-mail on September 13th to Susan LaRosa, Director of the York Catholic District School Board. I also sent a follow up e-mail asking at least for an acknowledgement, but so far-nothing.

Here is my first (and likely only) experience with the York Region Catholic School Board.

This summer, one of my children took two half courses with the YRCSB.

In one of the classes, I was very disturbed to find out that the Michael Moore movie “Sicko” was being shown to the class. I could not ascertain what relevance that particular movie had to the study of Canadian civics issues-nor could my child. 

The movie was not introduced with any explanation of the director’s particular bias, leaving students to assume that it might be an objective film-which it is not. That was disturbing enough.

Within a couple of days, my child let me know that a second Michael Moore documentary was being shown in class-this time Bowling for Columbine. Again, there was no mention made of what that movie has to do with Canadian civics issues. Nor did the teacher discuss the bias of the filmmaker, or present any counterpoint literature or explanation.

I was quite outraged by this development. Showing two similarly biased documentaries, by the same director, both of which have questionable (if any) relevance to the course at hand was clearly an attempt at stealth political indoctrination.

I spoke to a supervisor, who made a site visit to speak to the teacher. The supervisor said he could understand my concern, but that those films certainly start conversations (!!!).

To be clear-I have no objection to conversation. 

I object to one-sided brainwashing

Subsequently, the teacher called me to apologize, and said that I was “right” and that he could understand how I felt as I did.  However, I am not entirely reassured.

I am following up on this experience, to find out exactly what the curriculum is in the York Region Catholic School Board for grade 10 civics courses. I looked at the Ontario curriculum and didn't see Michael Moore's name anywhere on the program.

I would like to know how watching two Michael Moore documentaries, in the space of a two-week course, fits into the academic curriculum.

I would expect that appropriate steps be taken in order to address this egregious pedagogical error in judgment (I'm being diplomatic and generous here), in order to assure that future students taking this course, whether in summer school or not, are never again subject to the same degree of vile political propaganda as my child was this summer. 


As readers may or not be aware, Ontario taxpayers fund both the public school system and the public Catholic school system. So, in other words, my taxes go toward funding two public system. 

There was a computer glitch apparently at the particular school where my child attended, and subsequently, final reports were not provided to her and her schoolmates. 

When I called the board to ask for the transcript to be mailed to me, they said that I could come pick one up. No thanks, I said-it's about an hour's drive for me. Can I get one mailed to me please? Or sent electronically. I was informed that they don't send transcripts electronically, and I would have to first send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to have the transcript mailed to me.

So, to summarize: my taxes pay for two systems (one of which I use, the other I do not), and they can't even put a stamp on an envelope to send a transcript to my house, when it was their computers (that I pay for) that screwed up-that would be a .59 cent stamp.


How do we take back the classrooms when we can't even get a response to a simple e-mail?